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Discovered a nest, damaged the entrance.

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Joined 2013-06-25

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I have no problems with where it is or the bees, our lavender is always a source of food when it flowers and we spend ages watching them back and fore, just I did not know it was there until I disturbed the entrance clearing some grass. I was cutting at the surface and pulling, not digging.

Now worried they are in trouble. I suppose that I could keep and eye on it to see what happens but how resilient are they? Not knowing how the make nests in the first place. At the moment they are coming back and look like they are lost on the surface though they may have found the entrance.

     
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Total Posts: 272

Joined 2012-05-24

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Hello Jm,

Welcome to the forum.

If you have disturbed the “geography” around a BB nest, this will cause the bees to search around for where to land.
I think the final decider will be the smell on the nest, or the accumulated foot-traffic of the bees.  (Smelly footprints.)
They should quite quickly work out the puzzle and will then go back to Autopilot landing and take-off.

If the nest structure itself is damaged, you could try placing a piece of waterproof light board over the hole (maybe propped-up a bit) and /or giving them easy access to suitable building materials - like a mix of dry chopped-up grass and moss: or even loose-lay loft insulation to use to re-build the missing bits of the nest canopy !

It sounds as if the colony was already out in the open, in which case the damage might have rendered them at increased risk of attack by badgers, who would find the nest by smell.

I hope this helps - do let us all know what happened !

Clive

PS. 
Try reading Dave Goulson’s book ‘A Sting in the Tale’, which has quite a bit to say about BB coping behaviour and many other interesting things about their ways and biology !

     
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Joined 2013-06-25

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Thanks for the reply Clive. I pulled the tall grass above it away after cutting it with shears so do not think I disturbed the main bit. The stump that was left started buzzing and a large bee was wafting around trying to get in (already outside). I am not sure I damaged the nest itself but messed up the area.

I have had time this morning to look in so to speak. There were two bees, smaller than the large one I initial saw, doing what could best be described as tidying the front porch. They seemed to be trying to shuffle stuff around and the opening looks more defined than the day I stumbled in.

We are on an estate so not sure if badgers are a threat here?

Will look to making them a builders supply tomorrow.

I did see the large obvious bumble try to get in and the others I saw tidying the place this morning were smaller overall golden not so banded in the colouring. I think I need to take some pics if the opportunity provides itself and learn a bit more.